Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

Bingo. You’ve reached David Astle dot com, a carnival of words, puzzles and more words. Welcome aboard, and have fun.

Loading tweet...

Merit Time

23 July, 2011

For our latest storm, we had to choose a word like MERIT and break it down, letter per letter, to make a string of four –letter words: RITE, TRIM, TIME, MIRE, TERM, with each outcome spawning a cryptic clue. As for the task of assessing merit, I went by tick-tally, where the most ticks per cluster would go to signal the best cluester, as LR first misread! If the count was on par, I looked more deeply at clue niceties, and the touches of elegance in the breakdown.

Just as a side-note, I wish to encourage RV and SB, whose monograms don’t appear on the MERIT board, but only because the definition dimensions among some of their clues was absent, or muted. Just a hint for future clue storms, as your wordplay is well up to speed.

Also adored some scattergun clues, like Sam’s LEWD, RK’s BEAST, Bon’s MARC – but this was all about your ensemble. So without getting stuck in the MIRE of more TIME, here are the best among our dozen Dream Teamers:

Bronze to RM for TROPE – if not for a double-dip into the Hidden recipe, this may have snuck an extra rung:

TROPE: Otherwise inept, returning cliche [great opener!]
ROPE: Maybe Manila is most of continent
POET: Literary type who wrote The Raven and The Beginning
PERT: Vivacious members of Supertramp [cute]
TORE: Start exercise after most of torso is ripped
PORT: Drink served in cup or tumbler

Silver to be shared by SK and LR, for LOTUS and SABRE respectively. As they appeared:

LOTUS: After all, we are in a healthy position [hearty beginning]
OUTS: Reveals nothing before opening of underwear trade show
SLUT: She can’t control her lust! [hard to ignore that hoary anagram]
SOUL: Being one to listen [exquisite]
LOTS: Blocks essential pilot scheme [a topical kapow]
LOUT: Carbon tax on power in your ‘hood?

SABRE: Yank bears weapon? [always wise to open well, like this]
BARE: Stripped of foremost benefits and rights entirely
SERB: Foreigner concealed fertiliser bomb [this clue seems inside-out, as the bomb is the concealer – ]
SEAR: Stereotype – extremists are mostly brown [wonderfully provocative clue]
BASE: Military hub to exist around Middle East [Qaeda = base too, I seem to recall. Great stuff]
BRAS: Devils, time to withdraw supports

And scoring her first gold, and possibly her first lofty placing fullstop, is Peta with a compact and competent tribute to the BRIDE:

BRIDE: Second class bus journey for newly-wed [droll gambit]
DIRE: Terrible, terrible ride
BIDE: Await Vice President pointlessly [Endlessly, may I suggest, as T is not a point]
BIRD: Prison time – it flies [great clue]
BRED: Raised money for auditor [familiar clue perhaps, but tight as a drum]
BRIE: Cropped fibre processed to make cheese [a neat bucolic sign-off]

Congratz to a cleanskin victory – let’s hope Peta’s triumph is a Cadel prelude for tonight’s time trial. Thanks for the dreaming, and the teamwork. Good to be back among your sharp minds. New Storm next Tuesday.

"

Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

comments powered by Disqus

Wordburger Awaits!

Welcome all puzzle-lovers, including any chompers of the Wordburger book or app. (Check them out if you enjoy words & trickery.) And if you still crave more alphabet mischief, click on the burger icon above for a fresh serve.

Medal

Wordburger

Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

read more +

Riddledom

Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

read more +

Cluetopia

Cluetopia roams the planet – and century – to find fresh crossword stories in 30+ languages. From shipwrecks to hoaxes, Cluetopia is a holiday for the head. Buy here.

read more +

Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
See Results